Food stamps could lose more federal funding

A temporary increase in food stamps expired earlier this month, and they are in danger of being cut again.
November 28, 2013 3:29:40 PM PST
Sylvia Wiggins runs the Helping Hand Mission in Raleigh and offers a feast of food and free clothes to those in need on Thanksgiving Day.

"Take all them blankets and fold them up right there, we're going to pass them out to families who need them," Wiggins said. "Happy Thanksgiving to you!"

The mission is always busy on Thanksgiving, but Wiggins said since Nov. 1, her kitchen has been on overdrive. A temporary increase in food stamps expired earlier this month, and they are in danger of being cut again.

Now, those who rely on the monthly benefits are feeling the cutbacks and turning to places like the Helping Hand Mission for help.

By one recent study, about two-thirds of the 1.5 million people who receive assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are women and children.

Towanda Thomas was at the Helping Hand Mission on Thanksgiving, and said she has been on food stamps since 2008.

"I get like $100 and something, and I take that and I go to the grocery store because my children need to eat," Thomas said. "They raised the benefits up, and now they're cutting it back."

The hard times for those who rely on the aid could get worse. When lawmakers return to Congress after Thanksgiving, they'll take up the Farm Bill, which includes food stamps.  Republicans in the House have passed a plan that would cut it by $40 billion.  In the Senate, they have a plan to cut it by $4 billion.  

Whatever happens, it seems harder times could be ahead for those who rely on those benefits.  

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